Additional Locally-Acquired Zika Case in Cameron County
Dec. 22, 2016
The Texas Department of State Health Servicesand Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services have identified anadditional Brownsville resident with a locally acquired case of Zika virusdisease. It is the sixth local mosquito-transmitted case in Cameron County and Texasbut is not thought to be connected to the other cases.
Local public health workers have responded tothe case by providing testing to members of the patient’s household and goingdoor-to-door in the area around the patient’s home. They’re working to identifyand offer testing to anyone with possible Zika symptoms and to all pregnantwomen in the area with or without symptoms. Local officials have also been educatingneighbors about Zika and conducting environmental assessments to help reducemosquito habitats in the area.
The Centers for Disease Control andPrevention updated its testing guidance last week to recommend testing allpregnant women living in Brownsville or who have travelled to Brownsville on orafter Oct. 29. DSHS continues to urge pregnant women and their health careproviders to follow that guidance and the recommendation to test pregnant womenwho have traveled to places where Zika is being spread, including anywhere inMexico.
Recent cold temperatures combined withmosquito control efforts have reduced the mosquito population in the area, butwarmer weather is forecast for at least the next week, so people should continueavoiding mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent and wearing long sleevesand pants. They should also dump out containers that hold standing water in andaround their homes to deny mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs.
Zika virus istransmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito,though it can also spread by sexual contact. The four most common symptoms arefever, itchy rash, joint pain and eye redness. While symptoms are usuallyminor, Zika can also cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly, andother poor birth outcomes in some women infected during pregnancy. DSHSrecommends pregnant women follow CDC advice to avoid traveling to locationswith sustained, local Zika transmission, including all areas of Mexico.Pregnant women should also use condoms or avoid sexual contact with partnerswho have traveled to those areas. Travelers and the general public can findmore information at TexasZika.org.
(News Media Contact: ChrisVan Deusen, DSHS Director of Media Relations, 512-776-7753)
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